Atlantic City and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority plan to build the biggest of ferris wheel next to the iconic Steel Pier.
Although the project still requires approval by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, CRDA executive director, John Palmieri, points out that the 220-foot-high wheel will not be a traditional ferris wheel. He refers to it as an ‘observation wheel.’
The structure will carry heated cabins that can be enjoyed year-round, even in the winter. There will be 40 climate-controlled cars on the wheel, which will feature padded seats with Wi-Fi access and even music for the wheel’s ride. Rides will last around 15 to 20 minutes.
The wheel’s location is part of a larger plan to make the Pier a year-round attraction, which also means an expansion of the Steel Pier itself. A total of $8 million in loans for the wheel project have been authorized by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority; however the wheel itself carries a 14 million dollar price tag.
“We’re creating a more appealing place for visitation,” Palmieri said. “Obviously casinos are still a big employer, and they are the base part of the economy, but our focus is on diversity.”
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian says the observation wheel will be a good investment for his town.